iPod Nano Pedometer Review

Track your steps and distance with your iPod

iPod Nano
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The iPod nano includes a pedometer app. Unlike the Nike + iPod Sport Kit, this pedometer is built-in and doesn't use a separate sensor. It is suitable for recording total daily steps as well as walking and running workouts.

Your daily steps can be viewed from several screens on the iPod nano, as well as uploaded to the free Nikeplus.com website and shared with friends via Facebook. The pedometer counts steps and estimates calories, and as of the seventh generation nano it estimates distance (plus speed if you track a workout in Run mode.) The pedometer to be fairly accurate when carried in a pocket.

Apple has discontinued the iPod nano, with the seventh generation being the last produced.

iPod Pedometer Function

With the seventh generation iPod nano, the Fitness menu is on the home screen for easy access. With older models, look for it in the Extras menu. To set up the pedometer, users go to the Extras menu. You can set the following functions:

  • Manual vs. Always On: This is a function on the older iPod nano models. Change this to Always On if you prefer to track total daily steps. Or, you can select Manual if you will only be tracking workouts rather than total daily steps. With the seventh generation nano, it is always on for total daily steps and you can track specific workouts by using the Run mode.
  • Workout Goal: Set your total daily step goal, choosing from a list or setting your own.
  • Weight: Set your weight to get an estimate of calories burned.
  • Heart Rate: The seventh generation iPod nano has Bluetooth and you can pair it with an ANT+ heart rate monitor sensor.

Using the Pedometer

These functions have changed with the seventh generation iPod nano. To track total daily steps, select Walk to start counting.

If you want to track a specific workout, you must use the Run function whether you are tracking a walk or a run. Unfortunately, your "Run" steps won't be counted in your daily walking steps total.

Once you have started the pedometer, it displays steps, time, and calories. You can click out via the Menu button to use the other functions of your iPod nano, such as listening to music, recording video, using the stopwatch function, or tuning into FM radio.

The total steps are visible from several screens on the iPod, such as the main menu, so you can view them without returning to the Pedometer function. To stop recording your steps, return to the Fitness menu and stop it. The iPod will store your sessions so you can review them later, and will upload them to the Nikeplus.com website once you visit iTunes.

Accuracy of the iPod nano Pedometer

The iPod nano (carried in a pocket) was compared with an Omron hip pedometer. Both total daily steps and a dedicated walking workout were tracked. The totals compared within 5 percent, which is a reasonable amount of accuracy for step totals.

Viewing Your iPod Pedometer Totals and Graphs

You can view your steps counted in the current session on the seventh generation nano by selecting Fitness on the main menu of your iPod nano.

To see the current total, elapsed time, distance and calories, select Walk. To see further graphs and review sessions swipe left. On older models, you would use the Pedometer screen.

Upload Your Data to Nikeplus.com

iTunes includes free access to the Nikeplus.com website. With your iPod nano plugged into your computer and iTunes launched, select Send in the dialog box to upload your sessions automatically to the Nikeplus.com website. The pedometer will upload the current data and track it for a variety of step goal challenges. The screen shows your daily average, the community's daily average, your best day, total steps for the week and all-time steps.

The Nikeplus screen has a convenient Facebook button to post your challenge total to your Facebook page to brag to your friends.

Nike + iPod Sport Kit

You can use the Nike + iPod Sport Kit with the fifth generation iPod nano and later versions. By using the transmitter and shoe pod, you can also record speed and distance. However, the sport kit doesn't record steps, so if you want to track steps as well, engage the Pedometer function.

Stopwatch Function

If you want to time laps, the iPod nano's stopwatch function is easy to use and stores data by session. On the seventh generation nano, swipe left to access the Clock function for the stopwatch and timer. On earlier nanos, you can find it in the Extras menu. Press Play/Pause to start the stopwatch. To record a lap time, press the center button. The times for the two most recent laps appear above the total elapsed time.

With the stopwatch running, you can use the Menu to click out and use other functions. But to record a lap, you will have to return to the Stopwatch. To stop the overall time, press the Play/Pause button again. To resume the same session, press Play/Pause again. To end a session, press Menu and select New Timer.

View the session logs by date, with a lap time for each lap, total time, shortest, longest, and average lap time. Logs can be deleted by pressing the Center button when viewing the daily log and selecting Delete Log. The stopwatch function can be very handy for people who want to time their laps and figure out their speed.

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